Here we are again, another big week of film news – and Avengers: Endgame!
IN THIS WEEK’S “The old ‘creative differences'”, story, At one point, Narc and The Grey filmmaker Joe Carnahan was set to direct Mission: Impossible III, but left the project due to creative differences. History would repeat itself, with Carnahan leaving yet another threequel, Bad Boys III, for similar reasons. In a recent interview, Carnahan opened up about his Bad Boys III departure, revealing that his vision for the movie clashed with what star Will Smith ultimately wanted.
In 2015, writer-director Joe Carnahan became involved with Bad Boys III, but by 2017, he had left the project. Afterwards, the sequel was removed from the release schedule, and there was doubt the movie would ever be made. By 2018, filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were tasked with helming, with stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence confirmed to return.
But what happened with Carnahan? According to the filmmaker, his Bad Boys III script was solid, but it wasn’t what star Will Smith wanted. “I love Will, he’s a great guy,” Carnahan recently told Collider. “I just know myself. And I thought what we were doing at that point was the law of diminishing returns. I wasn’t servicing the story that I was really excited about telling, that the studio had greenlit. And again, this isn’t to throw shade at Will — it’s your face on the poster, it’s your name on the poster, you need to do things the way you want them done.”
Carnahan also added that the ending to his script was “one of the best endings I’ve ever written in any movie.”
So does anything of Carnahan’s remain in the upcoming third film, officially titled Bad Boys For Life? Yes, it does. The film’s basic plot – which involves Smith and Lawrence’s aging duo having to work with a hotshot team of young cops – was from Carnahan’s script:
“There’s an ammo team, the kind of young go-getters like the 21 Jump Street kids, and there’s still the idea of these guys being kind of 50 and maybe over-the-hill…Like that kind of stuff. There’s still all that.”
It sounds as if Carnahan’s basic framework is still there, with additional details added by new screenwriter Chris Bremner. In addition to Bad Boys III and Mission: Impossible III, he also walked away from the Death Wish remake for similar reasons.
Couldn’t save that Death Wish remake, that’s for sure.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Lopez and Wilson” story, Jennifer Lopez is reteaming with STXfilms on the upcoming romantic-comedy Marry Me.
Kat Coiro is directing the film and Owen Wilson is in final negotiations to join the pic, which will likely shoot this fall. The script was written by John Rogers and Tami Sagher, with a rewrite by Harper Dill.
Lopez and Wilson both appeared in 1997’s actioner Anaconda.
The movie will mark the third collaboration between STX, Lopez and producers Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina following 2018’s Second Act and the upcoming Hustlers, which is currently in production. The film was originally set up at Universal.
The movie is based on a graphic novel by Bobby Crosby and centers on a pop star (Lopez), who, moments before marrying her rockstar fiance at Madison Square Garden, finds out that he cheated on her with her assistant. She breaks down on stage and picks a random man (Wilson) out of the crowd to marry instead.
Ok, well that sounds like a sufficiently ridiculous premise for yet another ridiculous rom-com.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Will the REAL end of phase Three please stand up?” story, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has kept the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline under lock and key in the lead up to this weekend’s “Avengers: Endgame,” but he did surprise fans at a recent fan event in Shanghai (via Newsweek) by confirming that “Endgame” is not the last chapter in Phase Three of the MCU. The upcoming “Spider Man: Far From Home,” set for release this July, is actually the final installment of Phase Three, which began with Captain America: Civil War in 2016 and has included such beloved MCU entries as Black Panther and “Thor: Ragnarok.”
Feige would not speak on the matter outside of responding to a Far From Home question by saying, “It’s the end of the third phase.” The executive added this was the first time he was confirming publicly that this nugget of information was confirmed. MCU fans have been wondering about the future of the movie universe following Endgame, which many believed to be the Phase Three finale as it has been billed as the culmination of the entire 21-film franchise to date. “Far From Home” was supposed to kick off Phase Four, but that’s no longer the case. The revelation the new Spider-Man movie is a Phase Three movie means no Marvel movie has been officially announced or dated for Phase Four yet.
As for what Phase Four holds in store for the MCU, expect Feige to start announcing titles and dates some time after “Endgame” hits theaters. Franchises such as Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Doctor Strange are all expected to land sequels, while new franchises to the MCU will include Chloe Zhoe’s The Eternals and Daniel Destin Cretton’s Shang-Chi. Scarlett Johansson’s fan favorite Black Widow will also be getting her first standalone movie. Many of these projects are in development, but Feige and Marvel have made it a priority not to announce any Phase Four details prior to Endgame. The first Phase Four movie is already set for May 1, 2020.
So, the ‘break’ the Marvel is taking between phases is basically a year. My Gods, what will life be like without a Marvel film for that long?? 😉
IN THIS WEEK’S “Tolkien family not on board” story, J.R.R. Tolkien’s family and the Tolkien Estate have come forward to disavow the upcoming Fox Searchlight biopic that stars X-Men actor Nicholas Hoult as the iconic Lord of the Rings author. The film, titled Tolkien, is set for release next month. A statement released by both parties says they want to “make clear that they did not approve of, authorize, or participate in the making” of the film and “they do not endorse it or its content in any way.” Tolkien’s family and the Tolkien Estate have not seen the movie but have long turned down agreeing to any official biopics.
“Tolkien” is directed by Dome Karukoski, the Finnish filmmaker behind “The Grump” and Tom of Finland, and features a script written by David Gleeson (Cowboys and Aliens) and Stephen Beresford (Pride). Hoult stars in the title role, while Lily Collins plays Tolkien’s lifelong love and wife Edith Bratt. The supporting cast includes Tom Glynn-Carney, Anthony Boyle, Patrick Gibson, Albie Marber, Colm Meaney, and Genevieve O’Reilly.
The official Tolkien synopsis from Fox Searchlight reads: “‘Tolkien’ explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the ‘fellowship’ apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth novels.”
Hmmm…why not allow a biopic of J.R.R. Tolkien? I mean, I suppose they don’t really need a reason, but it IS curious, yes?
IN THIS WEEK’S “Nic Cage settles the score” story, RLJE Films has acquired North American rights to the Nicolas Cage action thriller A Score To Settle, which Highland Film Group handles for international sales.
Benjamin Bratt and Noah Le Gros round out the principal cast on the story about a former mob enforcer released from prison after 22 years who sets out to find the people who framed him.
Beautiful Boy screenwriter Shawn Ku directed from a screenplay by John Newman. Goldrush Entertainment’s Eric Gozlan and Minds Eye Entertainment’s Kevin DeWalt and Danielle Masters produced.
RLJE Films plans an August 2 theatrical and VOD launch after chief acquisitions officer Mark Ward and Jess De Leo of RLJE Films negotiated the deal with Arianne Fraser and Alana Crow of Highland Film Group.
Yeah, ok, sounds like another Nic Cage filler project.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Leo and Guillermo?” story, Leonardo DiCaprio is in negotiations to star in Fox Searchlight’s Nightmare Alley, Guillermo del Toro’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning film The Shape of Water.
Del Toro will direct the pic and co-wrote the script with Kim Morgan. Nightmare Alley is being produced and financed by del Toro and J. Miles Dale with TSG Entertainment, with Fox Searchlight acquiring worldwide distribution rights to the film.
While there is a 1947 Fox pic, this film will be more based on the William Lindsay Gresham novel of the same name. The 1947 movie starred Tyrone Power as an ambitious young con-man who teams up with a female psychiatrist who is even more corrupt than he is. At first, they enjoy success fleecing people with their mentalist act, but then she turns the tables on him, out-manipulating the manipulator.
The film shoots this fall as del Toro fills out the remaining roles.
Wow, it’s not a fantasy/creature movie. But it’s still Guillermo del Toro. I’m in.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Ben gets a caper” story, Ben Affleck will star in and direct the Universal Pictures caper Ghost Army, based on the book The Ghost Army of World War II, written by Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles, as well as the documentary Ghost Army.
It’s unclear when the movie will go into production as it’s still in development and Affleck is expected to rework the screenplay. The latest script was written by Nic Pizzolatto (HBO’s True Detective), with an earlier draft by Henry Gayden (Shazam!).
The film tells the true story of a squadron of recruits from art schools, ad agencies and other creative businesses who were tasked with fooling the Nazis into thinking the U.S. had larger troop numbers than it actually did. The book follows a group of young GIs, including fashion designer Bill Blass, painter Ellsworth Kelly, artist Arthur Singer, photographer Art Kane, and others, who conduct a secret mission. Their job was to create a traveling road show of deception, armed with inflatable tanks and sound-effects records.
Ok, I’ve heard of this story and it’ll be interesting to see it put to film.
IN THIS WEEK’S “A whole new Lot” story, Stephen King’s vampire novel Salem’s Lot is heading to the big screen.
James Wan and Gary Dauberman, the respective producer and writer collaborators behind many of the biggest hits of the Conjuring horror universe, are teaming to adapt the novel for New Line.
Dauberman will write the script and serve as executive producer. Wan will produce, along with Roy Lee and Mark Wolper.
Published in 1975, King’s book centers on an author who returns to his hometown in order to write about an abandoned mansion in the small town. As he discovers the home has been bought by a mysterious man from Europe, the man also realizes that townspeople are slowly being turned into vampires. The writer bands together with a ragtag group to stop the spread of vampires, with the final confrontation happening in the house with the mysterious man.
While Salem’s Lot has never been adapted to the silver screen, it has been translated to the small screen. A 1979 miniseries starred David Soul as the writer, and a sequel in 1987 followed. Rob Lowe starred in a more recent adaptation, which was made by TNT in 2004.
The new project has no director at this stage, though both Wan and Dauberman could make compelling candidates.
I forget that this has never been a film, only TV mini series. Might be interesting to see with a significant budget.
IN THIS WEEK’S “The Trek keeps coming” story, An animated Star Trek series has officially been given the greenlight by CBS Television Studios and Nickelodeon, Variety has learned.
The new CG-animated series will follow a group of lawless teens who discover a derelict Starfleet ship and use it to search for adventure, meaning and salvation.
As Variety previously reported, the series hails from Kevin and Dan Hageman, the pair behind Trollhunters and Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, as well as Eye Animation Productions (CBS’ new animation arm), Secret Hideout, and Roddenberry Entertainment. Ramsey Naito, EVP of animation production and development at Nickelodeon, will oversee the show.
“Star Trek,’ Nickelodeon, and the state of animation are doing incredibly ambitious things as of late. We couldn’t be more excited to jump aboard,” said Dan and Kevin Hageman.
Last year, All Access gave a two-season order to another “Star Trek” animated series, Star Trek: Lower Decks, with that show being created by Rick & Morty writer Mike McMahan. Lower Decks will target more mature audiences and focus on the the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships.
The announcement marks CBS TV Studios’ continuing push to expand the Star Trek universe, which already includes Lower Decks, Star Trek: Discovery, and two shows currently in the works at All Access: an untitled Captain Jean-Luc Picard project, and a drama centered on Michelle Yeoh’s Discovery character.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Aunt May gets funny” story, Marisa Tomei, the Oscar winner who plays Aunt May in the current Spider-Man movies, will star opposite Pete Davidson in Universal’s untitled comedy being made by Judd Apatow.
Apatow will direct the feature, which is set to shoot this summer in New York City, and he also is producing with Barry Mendel, his collaborator on such comedies as Bridesmaids, This Is 40 and The Big Sick.
Universal’s senior executive vp production Erik Baiers will oversee for the studio.
Details on the logline are being kept under lock and key, but it is known to be a coming-of-age comedy set in Staten Island and will use elements from the life of Davidson, the stand-up comedian who became a breakout on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. The script was written by Apatow, Davidson and Dave Sirus.
Tomei will play Davidson’s mother.
Bel Powley and Bill Burr are already on the call sheet for undisclosed roles.
The comedy is scheduled for a June 19, 2020, release.
IN THIS WEEK’S “The downside of Disney” story, While some film fans were ecstatic over the prospect of Disney buying Fox, others cautioned that this move could end up being bad for movies. Sadly, it looks as if that latter concern is turning out to be true. A new report reveals that Disney is in the midst of culling, and killing, several Fox titles. Even movies that are still moving ahead are getting a detailed reappraisal from the House of Mouse. Whatever your feelings here, you have to ask yourself: is destroying potentially good movies off just so the Disney Marvel heroes can party with the Fox Marvel heroes ultimately worth it?
THR has a disheartening story claiming Disney is killing-off several projects in the wake of their big Fox deal. Per their report, “film studio chief Alan Horn has jettisoned a number of Fox projects from his development and preproduction slate, including the $170 million tentpole Mouse Guard, the Tom Hanks starrer News of the World (to Universal) and an adaptation of Angie Thomas’ best-seller On the Come Up (to Paramount).”
It looks as if Disney doesn’t want to devote the money to non-franchise films, or films that don’t have wide appeal. While this makes sense from a business standpoint, it’s yet another unfortunate nail in the coffin of smaller, more personal projects. When it comes to the Fox-related properties, Disney wants “larger all-audience PG-13 and R-rated films” now.
The almighty Disney is showing the downside of this deal. When one company monopolizes so much film output, some things are bound to get cut.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Unnamed Bond 25” story, In a promotional video tied to the start of production on the upcoming 007 sequel, the filmmakers behind the movie unveiled the cast, confirmed that Oscar-winner Rami Malek will be the villain, but stopped short of sharing a moniker for the spy thriller. It will continue under its working title of Bond 25. The film’s producers and star Daniel Craig did hint at certain plot details even if many of the castings they confirmed had been widely reported.
“We’ve got quite a ride in store for Mr. Bond,” promised producer Barbara Broccoli. She also left a few breadcrumbs about what that ride might entail, telling viewers that the film will start with Bond out of active service and on holiday.
“He’s enjoying himself in Jamaica,” said Broccoli, who added that the production has built an “extraordinary” house for the famous agent and his license to kill. The official log-line states that “[Bond’s] peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.”
This edition will be directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, the filmmaker who made the first season of True Detective a water cooler event. He took the reins after the original director Danny Boyle parted ways over creative differences.
Fukunaga told fans that Craig, who plays the super spy as a hard-drinking bruiser, was his favorite Bond. “I want to make sure that this run of films…have a really great next chapter and just keep upping the ante so whoever is next has a harder job,” said Fukunaga.
Locations for the movie also include London, Italy and Norway, where some shooting has already taken place. The cast will include returning actors Lea Seydoux (Dr. Madeleine Swann), Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter), Ben Whishaw (Q), Rory Kinnear (Tanner) and Ralph Fiennes (M). Newcomers include Lashana Lynch, David Dencik, Ana De Armas and Dali Benssalah. The producers confirmed a Variety scoop that Billy Magnussen has joined the cast. Variety also previously reported Malek’s casting. The producers confirmed that the script will be written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Scott Z. Burns and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Well, finally some updated information. Seems like a lot of unknowns for a long time on this. The next chapter in Bond’s story hits theaters on April 8, 2020, by which we assume it will have an actual title.
IN THIS WEEK’S ” Populate the New World” story, AGC Studios and John Wick outfit Thunder Road are pulling together an impressive ensemble cast for Voyagers, the upcoming sci-fi pic from Neil Burger (Divergent). Colin Farrell (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Tye Sheridan (X-Men Apocalypse), Lily-Rose Depp (The King) and Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk) are among confirmed cast.
Advanced discussions are underway with Kelvin Harrison (Mudbound), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Game of Thrones), Chanté Adams (Roxanne Roxanne) and Madison Hu (Bizaardvark).
The Upside, Divergent and Limitless director Burger has written and will direct the sci-fi-thriller about 30 children who are sent on a multi-generational mission to populate a new planet. After the captain of the mission is killed in mysterious circumstances, the young crew descends into chaos, aligning themselves into tribes as they surrender to their most feral impulses. Production is due to get underway in Romania in early June.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Killing Kate” story, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is set to star in the Netflix actioner Kate, sources tell Variety.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan is helming from a script by Umair Aleem.
The story revolves around a female assassin, who, after being poisoned and given less than 24 hours to live, must go on a manhunt through the streets of Tokyo to take vengeance on her murderer before she dies.
The film will likely begin production this year.
The movie will be produced by Bryan Unkeless — who most recently worked with Winstead on the Harley Quinn spinoff, Birds of Prey — Hobbs & Shaw”and Deadpool 2 producer Kelly McCormick, and Patrick Newall. Hobbs & Shaw director David Leitch is exec producing with Scott Morgan.
Netflix landed the project in 2017 after winning an aggressive bidding war for the highly coveted property.
Winstead has gotten more and more comfortable with action-heavy roles after starring in “10 Cloverfield Lane,” the upcoming Ang Lee pic “Gemini Man” and “Birds of Prey,” where she will play Huntress opposite Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Tom & Jerry and…Chloe?” story, Chloë Grace Moretz is in final negotiations to star in Warner Bros.’ live-action/animated hybrid movie Tom and Jerry, Collider has exclusively learned.
Tim Story (Shaft) will direct and produce alongside The Story Company’s Sharla Sumpter Bridgett, and while writing credits don’t seem to have been determined yet, we’ve heard that Katie Silberman (Booksmart), April Prosser (The Last Summer) and Kevin Costello.all had a hand in the script.
The live-action film will feature animated versions of Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse, who will remain silent, just as they did in the original cartoon. Thus, there’s no need for voice actors.
Moretz is poised to play Kayla, a new employee at a posh hotel where Jerry takes up residence, threatening to ruin a glamorous wedding. She hires a broke alley cat named Tom to come in and get rid of Jerry, which proves to be easier said than done. That may be for the best, as the duo will likely need each other to defeat Kayla’s villainous boss, who isn’t a big fan of either one.
Tom and Jerry is one of several hybrid movies in the works at Warner Animation Group, which is also prepping Space Jam 2 from producers Ryan Coogler, Maverick Carter and LeBron James, who will also star opposite Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes.
I have to hope they’ll stay true to the original feel of the cartoons.
IN THIS WEEK’S ” Beer run!” story, Peter Farrelly, whose last feature Green Book earned multiple Oscars including best picture, has chosen his next project with a Vietnam War-set dramedy for Skydance.
Based on the book by Joanna Molloy and John “Chickie” Donohue, The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A True Story of Friendship Stronger Than War, the movie tells true story of Donohue, who left New York in 1967 for Vietnam to track down and share a few beers with his childhood friends, who were serving in the Army.
Brian Currie, who co-wrote Green Book, and Pete Jones (Hall Pass) will co-write the script with Farrelly.
David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger and Andrew Muscato will serve as producers. The project is being overseen at Skydance by Granger, Goldberg and Aimee Rivera.
~ Thanks for stopping in! Now go see Avengers: Endgame! See you next time!